Ready in 15 minutes and less than 10 ingredients, this super simple lemon pepper spaghetti is inspired by classic cacio e pepe, plus plenty of kale. Rather than creating a lemon sauce with butter or cream, these lighter lemon noodles rely on olive oil, garlic and seasonings.
You can never have too many pantry recipes in your cooking repertoire. The most obvious are soups and stews where you pull cans of this and that from your shelves, and maybe an onion off your counter, to create a main dish.
Pasta is another one of my pantry mainstays. I have no less than 5 different shapes from linguini to penne to fusilli to orecchiette on hand at any one time. I like to have options depending on how I’m planning to dress those noodles whether it’s garlic and oil or tomato sauce.
Even though a recipe falls into that pantry category, it doesn’t mean it can’t have any fresh ingredients. And no, I’m not talking about onions. They don’t count! The kale and citrus in this lemon pepper spaghetti have longer lifespans than other fresh produce, giving me permission to stretch the rules on what qualifies as a pantry recipe.
Olive oil and garlic are the most obvious things you need for every recipe, and of course, your favorite pasta shape.
Think of that trio as your base and then head to the antipasti aisle for cured goodies in jars like olives, roasted tomatoes and peppers, artichokes and more. And stop by the cheese department for hard cheeses like Parmesan and Pecorino that last longer than softer options.
On every shopping trip, I pick up a couple lemons and a bunch of hardy greens like kale or chard that I know will last through the week. Most of the time I don’t have a plan for them, but I know they will get used: sometimes the zest in scones and the juice in vinaigrette or pasta. Kale is also great to sauté into pasta or to stir into soup.
This is what you need:
I love this lemon pepper pasta for busy weeknights because it’s so fast, but it’s great on weekends too with a bottle of wine.
Make an Italian chopped salad or a simple arugula salad with lemon vinaigrette and homemade croutons to go with it.
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Loved this recipe! I had a craving for lemon pasta and paired it with salmon. I used spinach instead since I had it on hand. Will be a go to now!
That sounds delicious to go with salmon!
Made this tonight and it was wonderful! So fresh and flavorful, a snap to put together. Always an added bonus to up my dark green leafies. Thank you!